Alongside a screening of Double Journey (Mariann Lewinsky, Antonio Bigini), John Murray Journeys series editor Nick Hunt presents Ella K. Maillart’s The Cruel Way, accompanied by excerpts from Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s All the Roads Are Open.
In 1939, adventurer and writer Ella K. Maillart set off on an epic drive from Geneva to Kabul, accompanied by journalist and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who later became an anti-fascist and lesbian icon. The two women travelled partly to escape the coming war in Europe, embarking on a daring, and often dangerous, journey through regions where European women were a rarity. But Schwarzenbach was also fighting a losing battle with morphine addition, and the women’s close but often troubled relationship takes centre stage in the narrative as they progress through Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.
Encountering breathtaking landscapes, ancient ruins and nomadic peoples, The Cruel War is a gripping, lyrical and deeply empathetic portrait of places, people and friendship. For the first time ever, Maillart’s account is accompanied by excerpts from Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s All the Roads Are Open, which tells the story of the journey from a different point of view.
Nick Hunt is a travel writer, the author of three books about walking and Europe: Walking the Woods and the Water, Where the Wild Winds Are and most recently Outlandish. He is also series editor for John Murray Journeys, a series of books dedicated to rediscovering and republishing overlooked and forgotten travel classics, with new introductions from contemporary authors.